A Cal Performances’ favorite, the Brentano String Quartet, returns to Hertz Hall on Sunday, March 3, with a program of chamber music classics. The quartet, made up of Mark Steinberg (violin), Serena Canin (violin), Misha Amory (viola) and Nina Lee (cello), is known for performing with “an almost unearthly level of perfection” (The Times, London). Their concert will include Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33, No. 2; a group of Henry Purcell’s Fantasias; Béla Bartók’s Quartet No. 4; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quart in E-flat Major, Op. 74, No. 2. Additionally, the ensemble can be heard playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No.14, Opus 131, in the critically acclaimed film A Late Quartet starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener; Nina Lee plays a cameo role as herself in the film.
The Brentano String Quartet was formed in 1992. The group takes its name from Antonie Brentano, considered by many to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous confession of love. The Quartet first rose to prominence by winning the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has been praised by The New York Times for its “tight interplay and beautiful hues.” The ensemble is also internationally renowned for its stylistic elegance and deep insight and has performed on many renowned stages, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Concertgebouw. In addition to standard quartet repertoire, the ensemble performs many works that pre-date the string quartet as a medium, including works by Gesualdo, Purcell and Josquin. The group is also interested in new music and has commissioned works by contemporary composers Charles Wuorinen, Bruce Adolphe, John Mackey, David Horne, and Gabriela Frank. Distinguished collaborators include soprano Jessye Norman and pianists Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida. Their discography includes a recording of the Op. 71 String Quartets of Hayden and a Mozart album for Aeon Records, as well as contemporary works.
Violinist Mark Steinberg is both an active chamber musician and recitalist. He has participated for four summers in the Marlboro Music Festival, with which he has toured extensively. He has also been a soloist with the London Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philadelphia Concerto Soloists in addition to working with conductors Kurt Sanderling, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Violinist Serena Canin is an accomplished chamber musician who has toured the United States with Music From Marlboro, Brandenburg Ensemble and Goliard Concerts. She holds teaching positions at Princeton University and New York University. Violist Misha Amory won the 1991 Naumburg Viola Award and has been an active solo and chamber performer ever since. He has released a recording of Hindemith sonatas on the Musical Heritage Society Label. Amory is a faculty member of both the Juilliard School of Music and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Nina Lee, cellist, has performed at Tanglewood and Marlboro Music Festivals and has toured with other musicians as part of Musicians from Marlboro. She currently teaches at Princeton University and Columbia University.
Tickets for Brentano String Quartet on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Hertz Hall are $46.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.